ESA-22806 Environmental Systems Analysis: Methods and Applications


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Group work11
Course coordinator(s)prof. dr. LG Hein
Lecturer(s)prof. dr. LG Hein
prof. dr. C Kroeze
prof. dr. R Leemans
dr. ir. LN Ganzeveld
dr. ir. KPJ Fortuin
dr. ir. AJH van Vliet
MSc LF Schulte-Uebbing
dr. ir. RA Groeneveld
dr. ir. LGJ van Bussel
Examiner(s)prof. dr. LG Hein

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

Introduction soil quality, water quality, air quality.

Continuation courses:

Integrated Ecosystem Assessment in Regional Management ESA-31306 (MSc); Environmental Assessment for Pollution Management ESA-31806 (MSc).


Environmental problems are complex and of a multidisciplinary character. In solving these problems often many actors are involved. Analysing such complex problems requires an integrated approach. In this course, methods and instruments are taught that can be used to analyse environmental issues while taking into account these interactions. Environmental systems analysis studies are often performed to assist decision-makers in finding solutions to specific environmental problems. In the course, attention is paid to interactions between researchers (systems analysts) and the users (decision-makers) of the results of environmental systems analysis studies. The course starts with a general introduction in which a systems analysis procedure is presented. Next, tools and techniques used in environmental systems analysis will be introduced. Special attention will be given to modelling. Group work study will give more insight in the use of environmental systems analysis and models.

Learning outcomes:

Upon completion of the course, students are expected to be able to:
- describe the general procedure of environmental systems analysis;
- discuss the basic characteristics and techniques of environmental systems analysis;
- apply and discuss the following tools: causal diagram, stakeholder involvement, scenario analysis, ecosystem services analysis, cost-benefit analysis, multi-criteria analysis, life cycle assessment and environmental impact assessment;
- critically evaluate integrated analyses of complex environmental systems, with special attention to the construction and use of integrated environmental models in international policy-making;
- perform a limited environmental systems analysis.


- attend lectures and seminars;
- participate in discussions;
- fulfil several (group)assignments and present the results.


The assessment of the learning outcomes is realized through a combination of:
- a (closed book) exam (75%);
- a group case study report (25%).


A course guide and reader are available.

Restricted Optional for: MESEnvironmental SciencesMSc2AF, 6WD
MUEUrban Environmental ManagementMSc2AF
Restricted Optional for: WUCLCBSc Minor Climate Change: Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Society2AF